The trunk was originally purchased in 1984 from a bric-a-brac shop in the village of St Margarets near Twickenham, London. After spotting it in the shop window, the dad paid £12 for the case. He then gave it to his daughter to help her store her belongings when she moved into her first flat in London. Daughter Melissa, who is now 56 years old, stored bed sheets and linen in the trunk for years before realising that it had such a value.
Melissa, who is an estates officer and now lives in Middlesex, took it along to the Antiques Roadshow last year and was stunned to learn it was worth up to £6,000.
Melissa said: “My dad bought the trunk in 1984 from an old bric-a-brac/antique shop in St Margarets, near Twickenham in London where we used to live.
“He got a job up north but I didn’t want to go. He bought me the trunk to use as there was a lack of storage in my first flat.
“I put linen in it. I’ve always used it but, over time, I kept noticing the name Louis Vuitton crop up more and more on TV antiques shows.
“That’s when I realised it might be valuable.”
Last year, Melissa emailed the BBC show in order to get a valuation and Antiques Roadshow asked her to bring it in.
Melissa took the case up to Ham House in Richmond upon Thames where the show was being filmed at the time.
She said: “I was quite surprised. Everyone who knows me was laughing because I don’t like having my picture taken, let alone being on telly.”
Melissa added: “According to the serial number on the trunk, it was originally sold between 1909 and 1914.”
The Antique Roadshow expert then valued the case at £3,000 to £5,000.
The designer trunk is now potentially worth even more.
Melissa stated that she is now selling the 100-year-old trunk to protect it from her cats.
It will be offered for auction by Hansons London this Saturday, July 30 with a guide price of £4,000-£6,000.
She said: “We foster cats and I have to keep the trunk covered up all the time to stop them from using it as a scratching post.”
Inside the case, there was also a copy of the Guardian newspaper which shows the date Melissa’s dad bought it.
The newspaper was dated September 3, 1984.
She said: “I’ve always looked after it but now I think it’s time for someone else to own it and appreciate it.”